Side Effects Of Anthropology May Include Marriage

There is something in my bag that would make this whole situation a lot better. But from the front row, I’ll have to be pretty covert about it if I don’t want the professor to catch on. I have a “good student” reputation to defend, after all, and I can’t ruin that in my first semester. My professor – a boisterous and imposing woman with a thick German accent who could probably break me in half with a glare – is also not someone whose bad side I want to explore. But these three-hour-long Anthropology 101 night classes just kill me.

I cough quietly as I pull it out; a diversion. I adjust my notebook atop the desk so that what’s happening on my lap cannot be seen from the professor’s vantage point. Just a few pages is all I need.

I devour one page, and then another, and then another. The feeling of unbridled pleasure rises from within me, but my attentive expression doesn’t change; I’m trained in acting, after all.

Behind me, I hear a quiet snicker. Someone is on to me. A shock of adrenaline pulses through my goody-two-shoes nerves, but the professor doesn’t notice anything. I send a scolding glance backwards with a half-turn of my head and adjust my chair.

He adjusts his chair too, and continues looking over my shoulder. Soon the occasional quiet snickers turn to audible laughter as he can’t contain it any longer.

Amateur.

The professor shoots a look of disapproval in our direction. Frustrated that he has ruined the moment for me, I hastily shut the large and rather unwieldy book of Calvin & Hobbes comics and shove it back into my bag.

calvin and hobbes shoveling snow comic
Could you hold in your laughter? Credit: Bill Watterson

Neither of us knew it at the time – we barely knew a thing about one another – but I’m pretty sure that was the moment I won his heart. Before the semester was out, I got to know the edgy, mysterious-looking, faux-hawk sporting, black-and-pink nail polish wearing third year as a funny, intelligent, adventurous guy who had a cat named Calvin and a motorcycle named Hobbes and very nice hands that I might want to try holding one day.

On the Saturday after our last class, we went on our first date. Four years ago today, we tied the knot on a mountaintop in the snow… and it was all downhill from there.

post-wedding snowboarding, top of the chairlift
Snowboarding (*ahem* downhill) after the wedding.
Photo: Rodney Borkovich

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30 thoughts on “Side Effects Of Anthropology May Include Marriage

  1. This is definitely one of the cutest “how we met” stories I’ve ever read! 🙂 I always loved Calvin and Hobbes, and was shocked when I recently learned that a coworker had no idea who they were.

    Also, I nominated you for The Liebster Award! If you’re interested, you can check out the rules on my blog. Happy Anniversary!

    1. Yeah, they were huge. I think I was reading one of the square ones at the time, though, which were slightly less huge, but still… I also read the Lord of the Rings books, which were pretty substantial themselves, on my lap during boring classes in middle school. I laugh a lot on the inside! It feels much better to be able to laugh out loud, though…

  2. Hee hee! Gotta love the unifying power of Calvin and Hobbes. Also, I once got caught reading a romance novel in sixth grade during our silent reading time. My teacher plucked the book from my hands and read a passage aloud to the glass. I was mortified. 🙂

  3. Lovely! Just lovely! And to think, when I first saw you downstairs watching TV, you were actually scouting out him. He introduced you as ‘just a friend’ from class. Happy anniversary!

  4. Congratulations to you and your husband on your 4th wedding anniversary, Janelle. I love Calvin and Hobbes too. But much as I love reading, I have never dared to read in any of my boring classes back in the day. I too had a reputation to defend. Or maybe I was too chicken.
    Lovely story.

    1. Thank you! I can read in class (comics, novels, whatever) which I thinks comes from looking for things to do because when I was younger I would often finish my work before the other kids… I cannot, however, play video games. I get way too into them and would probably end up yelling out in class, haha!

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